What is a Lasting Power of Attorney and do I need a solicitor to draft one?

The pandemic saw a drop in the number of Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) registered, but this number is starting to pick back up now with a 19% increase year on year in 2022.

Now, halfway through 2023, it will be interesting to see whether this number continues to soar.

In this article, Wills & Tax Executive Rhiannon Stevinson outlines what an LPA is, why they’re so popular and whether you need a lawyer to draft one.

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?

A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document that gives trusted people the ability to act on your behalf if you are unable to.

In order for a Lasting Power of Attorney to be valid, it will need to be signed by all the parties involved and a certificate provider. A certificate provider will sign to confirm that you:

  • Understand the document you are signing,
  • Have the capacity to make the document, and
  • Are doing this of your own free will

Once the Lasting Power of attorney is signed it will need to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian, a branch of the court also known as OPG.

How long is an LPA valid for?

After registration, an LPA is valid until you have passed away (at this point your Will would come into effect).

Unfortunately, the courts have a very large backlog which means it can take several months to get a lasting power of attorney registered. As such, it’s a good idea to prepare any documents in advance.

A Lasting Power of Attorney can be revoked if you change your mind at a later date but it is essential that you choose an attorney that you trust.

Related: What happens to my estate if I die without a Will?

Why would someone need a Lasting Power of Attorney?

Once a Lasting Power of Attorney is registered, it gives you peace of mind that if anything happens and you are unable to manage your own affairs then your attorneys can step in and help.

Lasting Powers of Attorney for Property and Financial affairs can also be set up to be used as soon as it is registered so your attorneys can act in relation to your finances.

This could be especially useful if you are unable to speak to financial institutions such as banks over the phone or in person or if simply you would prefer someone else to help!

In the full article, Rhiannon outlines the decisions that an LPA can make, which type of power of attorney is best and answers more frequently asked questions. Click here to read it.

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